My Word Of The Year Is An F Word – Focus

We’ve all had those moments where we are working on our genealogy or photos… but especially genealogy, and you find a recordset or a document, and you’re off in search of that BSO (bright shiny object). Or perhaps you are working on one ancestor and then get distracted and start working on another because you got a hint on Ancestry or an email from MyHeritage telling you that you have new DNA matches.

So in an effort to “get my poop in a group” I’ve decided in 2020 that I’m going to work hard at staying focused. I know that sometimes it feels like an “F Word,” and it’s not an easy task, but here’s what I plan to do, and it just might help you.

The first thing I’m going to do is as I come across that new thing that I’d love to look at, instead of going down that rabbit hole, I’m going to record it in my research log as a to-do item.

Then I can get back to my current research project, and then once that’s completed, I can address the things on my to-do list.

The second thing I’ve started is something that I did when I first began doing genealogy. Each month I’d have a “family of the month.” That meant that I would only focus on that family. So taking that thought from the past and adding what I know now, I’ll create a research question regarding someone in that family, or I’ll work on a citation that needs addressing. But I’ll do it, one person, at a time, not everyone at the same time.

Again writing down any to-do items that I think of as I go along. We all think we can multitask, but according to Wikipedia, “Multitasking can result in time wasted due to human context switching and causing more errors due to insufficient attention. ” Who wants that?

So you might wonder what happens when it’s a new month? Well, I can either stick with the same family or if I want a change of pace I can choose another. It’s also my plan to keep track of the families I’ve worked on and which ones I might have to go back to.

I know that it might be a bit difficult to change my ways, so if I catch myself drifting off task, I’ll remind myself to get back on track, and I won’t beat myself up about that happening.

If you need to work on this F word, then I hope you’ll join my Facebook group, “Getting My Poop In A Group.” 

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